Enlightenment STUDY GUIDE FOR THE. ENLIGHTENMENT. The Enlightenment, also known as the Age of Reason, was the dominant intellectual movement of the eighteenth century. While the makers of the Scientific Revolution had used their intellectual powers to discover the natural laws that governed the operation of the physical universe, the thinkers of the Enlightenment sought through reasoning to discover the natural laws that governed the affairs of human beings and human society. While the Enlightenment was a broad international movement, many of its leading thinkers were French. The Enlightenment thinkers are known collectively as philosophes, the French word for philosophers. Once these natural laws were discovered, the institutions of society could be reformed to bring them more in accord-ance with the natural order. In brief, the philosophes were social critics, mainly French, but not exclusively so, who subjected human behavior and social institutions to the critical test of reason. While some monarchs did in fact promote reforms designed to make their governments more efficient, even the most enlightened ruler could not contemplate, much less enact, any reforms that would serve to undermine his absolute authority. The Social Contract, Rousseau’s treatise on politics and government, opens with the words: “All men are born free, but everywhere they are in chains.” Although government restricted individual freedom, it was nevertheless a necessary evil. In an effort to promote this reconciliation, Rousseau advocated a radical form of the contract theory of government. Rejecting the extreme individualism emphasized by many of his fellow philosophes, Rousseau stressed the role of the individual as a member of society. Although Rousseau never made it clear how the general will would operate in actual practice, he believed that all members of society would participate in the formulation of the general will, which would then be executed by a small group. Virtually all of the important French philosophes, including Voltaire, Rousseau, and Montesquieu, were among the some 160 contributers to the Encyclopedia, edited by Denis Diderot and Jean le Rond d’Alembert.
The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Right-wing politics hold that certain social orders and hierarchies are inevitable, natural, normal or desirable, typically supporting this position on the basis of natural law, economics or tradition. Hierarchy and inequality may be viewed as natural results of traditional social differences or the competition in market economies. The term right-wing can generally refer to “The conservative or reactionary section of a political party or system”. The political terms “Left” and “Right” were first used during the French Revolution and referred to seating arrangements in the French parliament: those who sat to the right of the chair of the parliamentary president were broadly supportive of the institutions of the monarchist Old Regime. The original Right in France was formed as a reaction against the “Left” and comprised those politicians supporting hierarchy, tradition and clericalism. The use of the expression la droite became prominent in France after the restoration of the monarchy in 1815, when it was applied to the Ultra-royalists. The people of English-speaking countries did not apply the terms “Right” and “Left” to their own politics until the 20th century. Although the right-wing originated with traditional conservatives, monarchists and reactionaries, the term extreme right-wing has also been applied to movements including fascists, Nazis and racial supremacists. From the 1830s to the 1880s, there was a shift in the Western world of social class structure and the economy, moving away from nobility and aristocracy towards capitalism. This general economic shift toward capitalism affected centre-right movements such as the British Conservative Party, which responded by becoming supportive of capitalism. In the United States, the Right includes both economic and social conservatives. In Europe, economic conservatives are usually considered liberal and the Right includes nationalists, nativist opposition to immigration, religious conservatives and historically a significant presence of right-wing movements with anti-capitalist sentiments including conservatives and fascists who opposed what they saw as the selfishness and excessive materialism inherent in contemporary capitalism.
Unit 1: The Origins of Capitalism
As well as providing an insight into how capitalism came about, and an indication of how it works, this unit looks at the nature of historical change. The concept of a waged worker signalled a crucial stage in the development of capitalism. The aim of all this brutal legislation was to turn the dispossessed into a disciplined obedient class of wage workers who, for a pittance, would offer up their labour to the new capitalism. During the 18th Century, a primitive form of manufacturing developed, which differed from cottage production in that workers did not work from home, but rather from single premises, or factory, owned by the capitalist. Further, as the factory system developed, it soon became clear that it gave capitalism much greater control over the workforce, establishing tighter organisation of work and workers and thus higher productivity. Workers had to work a specific number of hours under the direct supervision of the capitalist, who owned the more specialised tools. The now-familiar pattern of economic success being measured by which country or capitalist can extract the most profit from the workers under their control has its origins in the transition of Britain from a feudal society. We will see in the next Unit, that the coming of capitalism has, somewhat paradoxically, also brought with it the potential for workers to organise for change. In the new system, workers did not work from home but from a premises owned by the capitalist. The main effects were to lengthen the working day, and the number of days spent in work, to create a new class of ‘overseer’ separate from the majority of the workers, and sweep away guild regulation. Workers became totally dependant on their ability to sell their labour and the working class emerged as a category of people who were separated from even limited control of the means of production. Some discussion points In which ways can studying the early history of capitalism in Britain help us to understand the present-day working of capitalism? What have you learned about the nature of history as it is generally offered during the course of studying this unit? Was the development of capitalism inevitable? Further Reading.